Old memories old ground 

Stella at my side, walking boots on, fuelled by subway burnt ends, (which is amazjng) i leave Lou worth her sister and step out. 

Halstead, the town I grew up in hadn’t changed much

The Ramsey school tower block still punches it’s self into the skyline of Halstead and I’m over a mile into what maybe a 5 mile walk. 

Unlike Colchester, walking around the lanes of Halstead you nearly always see the town. 

Turning from the land onto a grass path I note virtual silence apart from a couple of songbirds chirruping from somewhere in the distance. 

The ditches are lined with yellows, whites and blues as I walk down the side of 2 corn fields. 

Memories of my childhood interupt my mind hiding in the long grass, playing cowboys and Indians. 

It’s new ground for Stella who sticks close by but sniffs and meanders and ambles along. 

The estate on which I grew up now breaks the skyline, as I descend the hill to where I’ve a Decision to make but it’s easy I’ll skirt the cricket pitch and turn across the bottom of the old estate I lived on. 

For the first time Halstead is completely out of view. 

A magpie takes to the air with stella almost upon it. The sound of the cricketers briefly fills the air, appealing for a catch or lbw, doesn’t sound successful. 


A misty dawn chorus 

It’s early on Friday morning, stella and I are walking the trees are a cacophony of sound, rabbits scatter their warning, Dog on the prowl. 

In the distance I hear a foxes scream like call. 

There’s little brown left in the hedges and verges as summer has it’s hold, the winter is banished. 

Yellows, greens, white and blue, butttercuos I’ve not seen for a long time. 

Graffiti can be a beautiful thing but this is no Banksy. 

As another arborial canopy approached, so the cacophony increases again.

A new sound, a cuckoo without a doubt, unless I’m mistaken a thief, not of shiny things like the magpie, but of other nests. 

Either there are some big beavers around or somebody cannot afford the fuel to go to the tip although it can t be bad for the environment. 

The thing I find strange is there is plenty of volume but seeing the culprits is amazingly difficult even though you know they are only metres away 

A vast Range of wildlife 

Sadly not my photo, nor is it one from the ranges but I’m told they’re there on the middlewick ranges. 

It was only yesterday that I found out, that this diverse natural habitat is under threat from developers, whose greed would eventually destroy every green or brown belt piece of land that Man can inhabit. 

Soon there’ll be no where for the dogs,  how many species have disappeared through man’s greed. 

Soon perhaps within our grandchildren lifetime birdsong will be a thing only heard in museums. They’ll be a myth like the dragons of old. 

Well stella and I are off to explore walk with us on an adventure you may soon not be able to follow. 
The sun is s glorious warmth on my back in a virtually cloudless sky, 

I’ve written before about how easily you can escape the urban sprawling that is Colchester, within minutes you could open your eyes and be unaware that your even in Colchester, but know that equally it’s there within minutes if your lost. 

The view only minutes into the Ranges a rich diversity of colours, tge furst thing tgat bits me is the silence

Could this pile of logs hide an Adder or it’s nest I’ve no clue. 

What species of tiny butterfly is this 

A couple of glorious blue Damsel flies, is there water nearby a dragon fly, a magpie a distant dig owner

The fence separates the shooting range from the public.  

A lowly cabbage white crosses our path once so common now an extraordinary sight. 

Ok developers riddle me this, we only need housing because if we shut the gates post brexit your homes will be unoccupied but this lush habitat will be gone forever 


There’s only one thing I like more than walking with my little mate Stella, and that’s fishing. But thats another story and for now I’ll content myself with walking. 

It’s 7am on Sunday morning and I’m turning, into the woods, from where I’ll soon be away from the noises of the main Berechurch Hall Rd. 

A crow or Rook craws above me somewhere, I’m suddenly aware that I’m vulnerable to being bombed, not sure whether accidental or targeted, as it’s happened before. 

The noise of car engines is quieter now, the soundscape is dominated by birdsong, a stoat runs across our path, unnoticed by stella. 

A pigeon coos nearby, and the latter part of the dawn chorus is a choir of many birds who’s identity I’ve no clue of. 

The sky is white, so white that if it were winter is expect snow, I recognise the oak trees and the odd evergreen pine but again my knowledge of the arborial diversity is equally weak. 

Warnings that we’re in military training grounds and not to touch any discarded ordnance punches it’s mechanical firm into an otherwise perfectly natural view. 

To my right, tall pine trees with very little foliage, except the last couple of metres of the top making a canopy. 

A cyclist speeds passed, uttering a “good morning” as I seek to stop stella wandering into his path. 

I cannot help but wonder at what some of these mighty oaks have seen in what is almost certainly a long lifetime. 

Even this, that fell during the storm in February clings to life.

A lone call in the sky that I still have no clue as to it’s identity, my footfall and stellas trip trap as she trots ahead of me, snorting like a young pig. 

The white of cowslip and blue or violet of the bluebells punches it’s way into the green scape. I turn, and ahead I see a locked gate which us designed to stop motorbikes getting into the woods unless they have the key, but unfortunately it fails on many occasions. 

I take a new path  Now, which runs parallel to the normal track, I’m in a field to my left trees and bushes, to my right the nearest tree at least 100M. 

Stella changed her approach, still ahead but not so far, and turns every 10 or 20M to check I’m still close by. 

The odd ssssww×www×@÷×wwe÷×@@aaapit of rain now awakens my senses but there’s little cover. A rabbit runs for cover, I’m uncertain if from the rain or more likely the approach of the descendent of the wolf, stella. 

A cow pat, reminds me that there are or soon wìll be cows nearby. 

The rain amounts to nothing really, light enough to not really soak but heavy enough to let you know of its presence. 

I’m back on my normal track now, stella has the scent of something but still stops to nite I’m nearby and following. 

A couple of dog owners make me pause my writing to get Stella back on her lead as she loves people but has a staffs defensive aggression towards other dogs except her beloved Rocky a golden retriever of a similar age.  

The end of my 2.5 mile walk draws close as a magpie takes to the sky, obviously aware of Stellas rep. Now a rabbit shepherds it’s young into cover for similar reason. 

A tech spring clean 

Just turned my tablet on for the first time in a while, it was running like a reliant robin on ice, in other words slowly. 

I decided it was time for a tech spring clean and challenged my self to be honest so I used this…..

  1. No, it goes 
  2. Not sure, it’s got a week to be useful 
  3. Yes

I cleared a lot if space on my tablet but not so successful on my phone. 

But it made me think, what do I have running in my brain that needs shuttin down or deleting. 

I’ve spent a lot of time optimising my thought processes over the last few years and yes as my mentor points out, sometimes I slip, I’ve begun to recognise my negative pathways, and ‘re engage my intellect, but those old sub routines are still there waiting for my amygdala to take over again.

The chimp paradox speaks of gremlins and goblins and searching for them, but then Emma says negative introspection is a bad thing and she’s right, its someone elses job to find my gremlins and goblins if they continue to dog me,  so instead of looking for them I am actively engaging my intellect as much as possible 

  • Instead of spending all day listening to the radio, whilst I’m driving I listen to audio books, some self help and learning also most recently IT by Stephen king.
  • As I’ve detailed before TV has had its influence greatly reduced, along with the news programs, I do however enjoy the afternoon drama on BBC radio 4
  • I’m slowly learning to find solutions to problems instead of just the problem. 

So maybe we could all benefit from a mental spring clean from time to time defragging and deleting the mind 

Another beautiful morning 

It’s  7am on the Sunday of Mayday weekend and I’m up and out with my ever faithful hound Stella. The sun is shining, shadows are long because the sun is still low in the eastern sky

 Various birdsong fills the air with only the crunch of my footfall disturbing an otherwise peaceful scene. 

A pigeons call breaks through the birdsong and apart from the odd fallen or dead tree everything is green, multiple shades of green offset by a virtually cloudless blue sky. 

My eyes pick out the oaks and the odd pinetree but I’ve little knowledge if the identities of most and my knowledge of the birdsong is equally vague. 

A conker  (horse chestnut) tree laden with flowers pricks memories of me with my grandad lobbing a stick at the freshest conkers taking them home and stringing them to play conkers the following day. But then health and safety has outlawed that or made it so bogged down in safety that kids can’t play the game unsupervised. 

A distant inquisitive fox checks Stella and I out and obviously considers us a threat as it turns and runs, either we’re nowhere near it’s set or it’s leading us off, 

A new border of blue flowerheads this time not blue bell but apparently a flowering nettle. 

Electricity pylons now break my perfect view, a mechanized reminder that these Roman woods are living a modern existence and that I am only minutes away from the civilization of Colchester or as the Romans knew it Camolodunum. 

The pylons are past us, and we veer right along a naturally made tunnel of trees interwoven. 

Looking up a few passenger liners vapour trails reminder further of the modern times, now two magpie scatter as stella hurdles toward them and she gives me that look as if to say that’s not fair or is this a hunt or just a pointless ramble. 

Now a rabbit scarpers for equal reason into the hedgerow, the tunnel breaks, stella has the scent of something, looking at me as if to say come on let’s go after it. 

A new birdsong, sounding like a kids laser gun, must be close as it dominates the landscape. 

If my mother in law or my partner Louise were with me now I’m sire they’d identify all or most of the flora and fauna but sadly neither are, as Lou has ailments that limit her walking and my mother in law is 20 miles away and would have equal problems with the distance. 

Suddenly I notice my mind has disengaged and is wondering emotionally I ‘re engage my mind picking up this post, continuing to write, I’ve been actively engaging my mind a lot lately from the guidance if Emma Triplets book Stepping out of the clouds instead of being depressed by the news on the radio I’m listening to more and more audio books. 

My walk draws near to a close as we pass Rockys home. Rocky is a golden retriever and stella one true friend who stella will always look out for. 

Within range 

Stella and I are walking around the back of the ranges in Colchester Essex. It’s a beautiful sunny evening and we’ve walked around 2 miles so far.

I really am lucky where I live as within minutes I can be in the middle of nowhere, if you didn’t no better you d think you were miles from anywhere. 

Walking off my pasta dinner is motivation enough and the looming weigh in tomorrow morning. 

I’ve just over a mile to go, and stella 

Still has plenty of energy. 

My glutes are starting to complain but then this is the second distance walk of the day. 

For a nearly 9 year old stella is doing great for her chicken and rice with weetabix dinners as she has an irritable stomach and I can rarely out walk her as she always has plenty left when I’m ready to give up.

Colchester is (as far as I’m aware) the largest garrison town in the uk and I love seeing the ah64 apaches doing their drills in the woods  

Intermittent run 

I did my first run for a while last night, putting some cheap trainers thru their paces. They seemed to take it so I can start running again. 

I did just over 4 miles, walking and running at random, my little running mate Stella as usual. 

It felt great too, but I feel a little stiff the morning after. 

But it just goes to show, me at least, how my mindset is changing, I’m finding solutions, not being stopped by problems.